If you have the base game of Kingdom Death Monster and you absolutely love it, you are thinking which expansion should I buy first (AKA which is the best) and how do I add it to my current base game? The expansions are often out of stock and I struggled with figuring out how to actually make a decision because the expansions are EXPENSIVE and I didn’t want to waste money buying expansions that did not work with each other. In this guide I will give you step-by-step instructions so you can make the right decision on which expansion(s) to buy first to modify your base game campaign (People of the Lantern)
Expansions are a bit of a mixed bag in Kingdom Death Monster in that they don’t always follow consistent logic. Some are quarry monsters, some are nemesis monsters, some have their very own campaigns built into them, like the Dragon King and it’s campaign variant The People of the Stars; some are not even monsters…
If you don’t own any expansions, you will be sitting there scratching your head, thinking, how do I actually add these? How many should I buy and add to create a new campaign? To help you with that I created this guide which will walk you through exactly what you need to do.
I have created a handy table below for each expansion, the corresponding event and Lantern Year they are added in.
Step 1 – Full Campaign Variants
Some expansions have full campaign variants in them that should be played as is without adding any other expansions. This is the simplest place to start as it provides a very different experience and is simple to run.
The full campaigns are:
People of the Stars – Dragon King Expansion
People of the Sun – Sunstalker Expansion
People of the Bloom – Flower Knight Expansion – You may come across this in your research about KDM but it is not a full campaign, just a campaign variant. The only reason I put this here is to warn you, so you don’t spend a bunch of time trying to figure it out like I did.
Step 2 – How Many Expansions Should You Add?
The recommendation from the creator of the game, Adam Poots, is to add maximum 3 expansions per campaign so that the campaign stays relatively balanced. You can technically add more but nemesis monsters reduce the amount you can hunt as they take up blank spots on the settlement timeline. Also you won’t be able to effectively hunt a higher number of quarry monsters for their gear as there will be too many and it can take quite a few hunts to be able to build a proper gear set from a single quarry monster. It is more effective to hunt less monsters more times each.
Step 3 – Quarry vs Nemesis Monsters
Quarry monsters are monsters that you fight multiple times – usually – and farm for gear. You can choose when to fight them and at what level. Nemesis monsters are like mini-bosses and you are supposed to fight them at a higher level each time you face them. Adding more of them can definitely makes the game harder.
Step 4 – Choose Full Campaign Or Customize People of the Lantern Campaign
The easiest way to choose an expansion is to buy one of the alternate full campaigns in step 4A. If you want to customize a campaign see step 4B. Below they are listed by category and are numbered in the order that I recommend you buy them.
Step 4A – Full Campaigns
1 – Dragon King Expansion (Quarry monster if you add to a custom campaign) – BoardGameGeek Info Page
This one is a classic and contains a campaign variant called People of the Stars. Start here and do not add any other monsters to this one unless you are very experienced as it will be unbalanced. You only need this expansion to run a completely different campaign. Recommendations for customization at bottom of this article.
2 – Sunstalker Expansion (Quarry monster if you add to a custom campaign – BoardGameGeek Info Page
The second expansion that contains a full campaign variant the People of the Sun. Do not add any other monsters to this one unless you are very experienced as it will be unbalanced. You only need this expansion to run a completely different campaign. Recommendations for customization at bottom of this article.
Step 4B – Customize People of the Lantern Campaign
Choose 3 of the below expansions to add to your People of the Lantern Campaign. I recommend 3 quarry or 2 quarry and 1 nemesis.
These should be added to the base game campaign the People of the Lantern(note you can also add Dragon King and Sunstalker instead of using them in the alternate full campaign format)
3 – Gorm Expansion BoardGameGeek Info Page
The Gorm is a great beginner expansion, nicely balanced, and adds another early quarry to hunt. Great for less experienced groups. You will still have to fight the White Lion in the prologue, but after that you can farm Gorm easily and shouldn’t cause any problems. You do not need to remove the White Lion, leaving it there as simply an option. Simple and easy to add.
4 – Flower Knight Expansion – BoardGameGeek Info Page
This is Kingdom Death Monster on easier mode. You can play the Flower Knight 2 ways. There is a campaign variant, even though it’s not a full campaign variant. Also you can insert the Flower Knight as Quarry when not playing the variant campaign.
5 – Dung Beetle Knight Expansion BoardGameGeek Info Page
The only reason this isn’t the #1 quarry to add is due to the difficulty and complexity. If you are experienced and like a really fleshed out experience you may want to move this up on your list as it is hard, complex and contains a ton of content; this is creator Adam Poots’ favorite expansion.
7 – Lion God Expansion BoardGameGeek Info Page
Quite hard and comes into the game very late LY13(see table below). Great for experienced groups, not great for beginners.
12 – Spidicules Expansion BoardGameGeek Info Page
Spidicules is a fairly early game quarry and is one of only 2 monsters that are direct replacements. You are supposed to replace the Screaming Antelope with Spidicules if you add it into the campaign. Instructions in the expansion will tell you exactly what to do. However this actually causes some problems, due to it making large parts of the game irrelevant. Here is a link to a very well done pack that shows you exactly how to fix all of the problems that Spidicules causes. If not just add it in addition to the White Lion. Because of this issue I think it’s the worst expansion.
6 – Slenderman Expansion BoardGameGeek Info Page
Slenderman’s event directly replaces Armored Strangers which is the King’s Man nemesis monster. Getting rid of the King’s Man? Priceless.
8 – Manhunter Expansion BoardGameGeek Info Page
You add the Manhunter to LY 10,16,22 so it reduces the quarry you can hunt by 2 and removes 1 nemesis choice encounter in LY 16.
9 – Lion Knight Expansion BoardGameGeek Info Page
One of the least favorite expansions, outside of Lonely Tree and Green Knight Armor. Takes up extra hunt time as well like the Manhunter expansion.
10 – Lonely Tree Expansion BoardGameGeek Info Page
The Lonely Tree expansion has its own section because it is neither Nemesis or Quarry and adds an event that can lead to a special showdown.
11 – Green Knight Armor Expansion BoardGameGeek Info Page
The Green Knight Armor expansion has its own section because you need multiple expansions to actually craft the gear set. It is comprised of 5 armor gear cards and 2 weapon gear cards. The required expansions to use the Green Knight Armor Expansion are:
- Gorm – Resources/Gear Cards/Innovations
- Flower Knight – Innovations/Disorders/Secret Fighting Art/Gear Cards/Resources
- Dung Beetle Knight – Resources/Gear Cards/Special Timeline Event
- Manhunter – Gear Cards
- Lion Knight – Gear Cards
- Spidicules – Innovations
At an absolute minimum make sure you have at least Gorm, Flower Knight and Dung Beetle Knight before you get this expansion! If you want the full experience you will need all of them though.
|EXPANSION||EVENT NAME||LANTERN YEAR|
|Gorm||The Approaching Storm||1|
|Flower Knight||A Crone’s Tale||5|
|Manhunter||The Hanged Man||5|
|Lion Knight||An Uninvited Guest||6|
|Slenderman||It’s Already Here||6|
|Dragon Knight||Glowing Crater||8|
|Sunstalker||Promise Under the Sun||8|
|Dung Beetle Knight||Rumbling in the Dark||8|
|Lion God||The Silver City||13|
This table will help you to decide but be careful when adding monsters that share same year or are similar! And remember adding more isn’t always better!
Customizing People of the Stars
If you really, really want to add expansions to the People of the Stars the best 3 monsters to add to the campaign are:
- Dung Beetle Knight
Customizing People of the Sun
If you really, really want to add expansions to the People of the Sun the best 3 monsters to add to the campaign are:
- Dragon King
- Lion God
- Dung Beetle Knight
Campaigns of Death
This is new content that is not yet out and will lay out in detail exactly, via a nodes system, how to add every single expansion and to create custom campaigns. Once this is out it will be much clearer but until then we need to do something right!